87 % of 65-year-olds have carotid plaque

Håkon Ihle-Hansen has assessed cognitive function and carotid atherosclerosis in 3,700 men and women born in 1950.


MAIN RESULTS:

  1. Nearly nine of ten men and women aged 63-65 years from the general population have carotid atherosclerosis.
  2. A higher burden of carotid plaques is linked to higher levels of most cardiovascular risk factors.
  3. Lower cognitive function is not independently associated with more carotid plaque.

THESIS DEFENCE:

Thesis: Cognitive function and carotid atherosclerosis in 63–65-year-old men and women from the general population – Data from the Akershus Cardiac Examination (ACE) 1950 Study
Candidate: Håkon Ihle-Hansen
Time: August 26, 2019 at 13:15
Place: University of Oslo, Domus Academica: Gamle festsal
Link to university website


SUMMARY:

(2) All men and women born in 1950 and living in Akershus in 2011 were invited to The Akershus Cardiac Examiation 1950 (ACE 1950) study. Between 2013 and 2015 the researchers assessed the carotid arteries of 3,683 participants with ultrasound, and 87 percent had atherosclerotic plaque. Among men the prevalence was 92 %, compared to 83 % in women.

The participants were given a plaque score of 0 to 24 based on the measurements of all four segments of the right and left carotid arteries. The majority had a plaque score of 3 or lower, indicating small amounts of atherosclerotic plaque. However, 27 % had a plaque score of 4 or higher, and these participants also had more prevalent hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, type 2 diabetes, obesity, smoking, stroke and cardiovascular disease. They were also less physically active and less educated.

(1/3) In his first article, Ihle-Hansen found that half of the ACE 1950 participants had mild cognitive impairment according to the Montreal Cognitive Assessment test. The third paper shows an association between lower cognitive function and higher burden of carotid plaque. However, this association was lost after adjustment for multiple potential confounders, such as education, smoking, sex and diabetes. In contrast, the diameter or area of the thickest plaque was independently associated with the cognitive test score.


REFERENCES:

(1) Ihle-Hansen, H., Vigen, T., Berge, T., Einvik, G., Aarsland, D., Rønning, O. M., Thommessen, B., Røsjø, H., Tveit, A., & Ihle-Hansen, H. (2017). Montreal cognitive assessment in a 63-to 65-year-old norwegian cohort from the general population: Data from the Akershus Cardiac Examination 1950 study. Dementia and geriatric cognitive disorders extra7(3), 318-327.

(2) Ihle‐Hansen, H., Vigen, T., Ihle‐Hansen, H., Rønning, O. M., Berge, T., Thommessen, B., Lyngbakken, M. N., Orstad, E. B., Enger, S., Nygård, S., Røsjø, H., & Tveit, A. (2018). Prevalence of Carotid Plaque in a 63‐to 65‐Year‐Old Norwegian Cohort From the General Population: The ACE (Akershus Cardiac Examination) 1950 StudyJournal of the American Heart Association7(10), e008562.

(3) Ihle-Hansen, H., Vigen, T., Berge, T., Hagberg, G., Engedal, K., Rønning, O. M., Thommessen, B., Lyngbakken, M. N., Nygård, S., Røsjø, H., Tveit, A., & Ihle-Hansen, H. (2019). Carotid Atherosclerosis and Cognitive Function in a General Population Aged 63-65 Years: Data from the Akershus Cardiac Examination (ACE) 1950 StudyJournal of Alzheimer’s Disease, (Preprint), 1-9.